When artist Rosalie Schweiker proposed having a big meal to launch her project at Spacex, Some ideas for a new art institution we really liked the idea. We issued an open invitation and, on the day of the meal, Rosalie set up a makeshift kitchen in the gallery using the two ring electric hob from the staff kitchen. Rosalie and Spacex staff spent the afternoon cooking and chatting in the gallery and that evening we welcomed 30 guests to Spacex for a sociable meal.
After the first course a few guests asked if Rosalie Schweiker was going to make a speech or explain her manifesto, which was displayed prominently above the self-serving area. She didn’t do this. Instead she toured the tables having conversations in-between making and serving waffles and ice cream. Without prompting people began discussions about what their own manifesto for a new arts institution might be. People wrote ideas on the paper tablecloths or in the ideas book.
Schweiker uses hospitality in her work often. Examples include The Pizza, a monthly pizza dinner in honour of an artist whose work she likes (with Hannah Clayden, Jo Waterhouse and Mario D’Agostino, since 2013) or Sleep with a Curator, in which she organises a sleepover in a gallery. In bringing people together in this way she fosters critical engagement and sparks off encounters between people. Look out for Rosalie’s next events, which will be equally sociable…she is planning a film night, a pub-crawl, and a family friendly meal. We hope to see you there!